An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WE NEED TO KNOW MORE about Gabriel Wortman.
Not everyone will feel that way. They’ll say we shouldn’t give so much attention to this man who is alleged to have shot and killed at least 16 people on the weekend — including a police constable — before he was himself killed.
We’d all like to forget everything about the tragedy in Nova Scotia in which so many lost their lives. But Wortman is dead; there’s no glory for him.
Details of what happened were confused as the incident unfolded Saturday night and into Sunday. At one point the national media reported that Wortman had been taken into custody.
That was soon adjusted when police confirmed he was dead. It’s not unusual for information to be fuzzy in the early stages of major police incidents, and for media to be overly anxious to report particulars without confirmation.
RCMP held a news conference Sunday afternoon but a lot of details are still missing. Speculation will be rampant. One reporter even asked if the shootings were somehow related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The media will be doing their best with their own investigative journalism, but much will likely be withheld.
There are, for example, privacy issues around who the victims were. Nevertheless, the public deserves to know more. This is a much different story than last summer’s deadly rampage by a couple of teenagers in B.C., when information was understandably strictly controlled as the manhunt continued.
The story of the Nova Scotia killings — the worst mass shooting in Canada’s history — needs to be fully told. What possible imagined grievances could motivate someone to so meticulously plan such a terrible act, including impersonating a police officer?
We need to understand who the killer was, because that’s our only chance of stopping it from happening again.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.